A building permit is required for the construction, alteration, installation, repair, relocation, demolition or change in occupancy or to any work to which the Alberta Building Code applies. Projects requiring a permit include the construction, renovation or relocation of a building (mobile or modular home) or an addition to a building, converting a building from one use to another, installing a wood or pellet stove, renovating the interior of a structure, repairing or restoring a building or constructing a deck.
A building permit is not required for construction of an accessory building that is less than 10 square metres (107 square feet) in size if there are no health or safety concerns. Permits are not required for painting, decorating, sidewalks, planters, driveways, re-shingling or the construction of a farm-building (see below form for specific requirements for farm buildings).
Energy codes are provincially mandated and are an important component of climate change strategy in Alberta, Canada and globally. All building permit applications must demonstrate compliance with the Alberta Building Code (2014) Section 9.36 or the National Energy Code for Buildings (2011).
A building permit may be issued to the building owner, a contractor or other authorized applicant.
Fire Safety Plan
A fire safety plan establishes minimum requirements that provide a reasonable degree of life safety from fire and similar emergencies. Plans must comply with the Alberta Building Code, Alberta Fire Code and other applicable laws and regulations.
A fire safety plan is required for small buildings, including housing and small building projects, unoccupied building projects, buidings under 600 square metres, structures three storeys or less in height and projects more than $5,000 in value. Individuals can use ready-made templates (Appendices A and B) for small buildings and must submit two copies (one for the client and one for fire department).
A customized fire safety plan is required for demolition projects, buildings over 600 square metres, structures more than three storeys in height and all buildings that will be occupied during construction or renovation. Individuals can use the fire safety guidelines (Appendix C) to develop a fire safety plan, and must submit to the fire department for approval.
A fire safety plan is not needed for projects less than $5,000 such as a utility shed under 10 square metres (108 square feet), re-shingling of a roof, installing eaves troughs, reinstalling or replacing kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing, or erecting a fence.
It is unlawful to start construction, renovation or demolition without a fire safety plan. If you begin without a plan in place, you may be ordered to stop work or remove work already completed, or you may be prosecuted. A safety codes officer reviews projects during key stages of construction to ensure the work site is safe and complies with the Alberta Fire Code. A safety codes officer may visit a site several times depending on the project.